Drew Powell: Dual-Threat Terror

The name Drew Powell strikes fear into defenses in leagues across the country. Having played professionally since 2016, he is known to most as one of the biggest talents in the indoor football sphere. His rise to indoor greatness is well documented, garnering fans wherever he plays. The vet’s debut AFL season was one for the books and a display of the incredible talent he has.

The Pedigree

The legend of Powell goes all the way back to his collegiate years. At Livingstone College, he was the starting quarterback from his first season. In his very first collegiate game, he passed for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Surely, that was an omen of what was to come. He would finish out that year and win the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Rookie of the Year award.

His sophomore year would be a downer, and his junior year would be an improvement. However, it all culminated in his senior year (2015), when he finished as the CIAA Player of the Year and made first-team all-CIAA.

He played a year professionally and, in 2017, made his way into the Indoor Football League (IFL). His IFL rookie year would pass with minor notability, but the legend would come into himself in 2018. That year, he would break out, winning both the MVP and United Bowl championship game and leading the league in three categories.

In 2019, he had a brush with the AFL, but he ended up playing for what would be his home for years—the Arizona Rattlers. In four seasons with them, he would win back-to-back MVPs and an OPOY. His greatest season was 2023 when he had his career-best numbers in completions, yards, touchdowns, and overall record.

In previous years, he has been known as the deadliest dual-threat quarterback in the game. He has been among the best passers and rushers for every single season because he is both deadly accurate and incredibly shifty.

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AFL Arrival

The man was sitting on the throne of the IFL, so what drove him to come to the AFL? Well, early in his career, the AFL was the goal. He had gone to multiple training camps, but the opportunities never fell into place. Originally, he re-signed with the Arizona Rattlers for the 2024 season.

However, he was traded in the preseason. Powell had grown to love his home, and it is a place that he still appreciates and is fond of. However, he was coming off three incredible seasons and knew that there would be people out there who really wanted him. Then, a man by the name of EJ Burt called. After hearing Coach Burt’s pitch, Powell was sold and made his way to Orlando.

The AFL is a different beast from what he came from, and some adjustments had to be made. In the AFL, the offense is not spread as thin. Although there are chances for the quarterback to tuck and run, they are not as commonly available and not as explosive.

Luckily, Powell does not need the run game to be an effective quarterback; he is not one-dimensional. In fact, he has been one of the top passers over the course of the regular season.

This Season with the Predators

From the very first game, he let the whole league know that he meant business. In the inaugural game of the new AFL, he completely tore up the Albany Firebirds’ defense. He had the accuracy, completing 74% of his passes. He had the strength, passing for 270 yards.

That all came with 7 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Unfortunately, the Preds would lose at the absolute last second, but there is no doubt he put the league on notice.

The team started the season with two losses, but a hot streak ensued. The Predators went on to win the next five games straight and earn a playoff spot.

“I’m blessed to be with a bunch of guys that are resilient, a bunch of guys that got that dog mentality that comes to work every day.”

Powell and the Predators’ season would end in the first round of the playoffs, but the season is not a bust- regardless of what some would say. The expectations for this team were through the roof and a lot of it came from within the locker room.

Many expected it would be ArenaBowl champs or bust. Regardless, this was a quality season. They survived some rough times and made the playoffs.

They also successfully brought Powell to the team and showed that he can be a serious threat in the AFL, too. If Powell is back for the Predators next season, we could likely see an MVP-caliber season and a deep playoff run at his hands.

“It’s just nostalgic for me, man; I remember coming down to a game with my dad and being in the same arena we play in.”

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